TTI-FSS Installs 507KW PV System on Tampa Manufacturing Facility

The system is expected to save around $75,000-$80,000 in energy costs in the first year.

Tampa, Fla.—Tampa Tank Inc.-Florida Structural Steel (TTI-FSS) announced it has completed the installation of a 507-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at one of its Tampa-based manufacturing facilities. Currently, this is the largest solar installation for an industrial plant in Hillsborough County, Fla., and one of the largest in the state.

TTI-FSSSolar Advantage installed the system for Shepard Capital Partners, from which TTI-FFS leases the facility. The system, which consists of 1,492 Canadian Solar 340 panels and 51 inverters, is anticipated to save some $75,000-$80,000 in energy costs in the first year. However, the company won’t be relying entirely on the solar installation, but also on energy provided by local supplier TECO Energy.

David Reed, principal at Shepard Capital Partners, member of TTI-FSS’ advisory board and founder of the nonprofit Sustany Foundation, said in a prepared statement, “Solar energy is an appealing alternative power source because it substantially reduces operating costs while securing a large portion of the company’s power needs for 25 years at a lower fixed price, from 13 cents per kilowatt currently to 3 cents per KW. In addition, TTI-FSS will benefit from a federal investment tax credit worth 30 percent of the system’s cost and the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MARCS) bonus depreciation of 50 percent the first full year of operation.”

TTI-FSS founder Cal Reed added, “We’re all concerned about the environment, so we were willing to consider solar energy as an alternative resource after evaluating three important factors: One, the return on investment; two, the viability of the manufacturing plant structure itself to support the number of solar cells necessary without having to reinforce it; and, three, the proposal from Solar Advantage to provide the quality and savings we expected at a reasonable cost. Fortunately, all three factors aligned to make this project possible.”

The installation is complete and will start operation as soon as the bi-directional solar meter is installed by Tampa Electric.

Solar Advantage President Martin Clewis insisted on the customized solutions his company employs for clients. “We used a diversified approach for the inverters in this particular project. Instead of one huge truck-sized inverter, we installed 51 small solid-state inverters, made in California, scattered throughout the array of panels. This minimizes the size of the system footprint and cuts down on potential service and repair-related down time.”

Image & video courtesy of Solar Advantage